tv BBC World News BBC America December 30, 2014 9:30am-10:01am EST
hello. i'm ros atkins here on "bbc world news." these are our top stories. dozens of bodies are recovered from the java sea by search teams looking for the missing airasia jet. debris has also been spotted fld the water. officials say they're 95% sure it is from the jet. >> i'm clive myrie live in surabaya, where for two days anxious relatives have been waiting for news. in other fuse, two seamen die while trying to secure the ferry that caught fire in the
adriatic sea. the first person diagnosed with ebola while in the uk is receiving specialist treatment at a london hospital. and big news in the cricketing world. indian captain ms dhoni says he's retiring from test cricket. let's begin in indonesia, where rescue teams have reportedly pulled the bodies of at least 40 people from the java sea. they were found floating near debris, which believed to be the wreckage of the airasia plane that went missing on sunday. relatives of those onboard broke down in tears on hearing the news. the jet disappeared on sunday morning during a flight from surabaya in indonesia to singapore. we know that 162 people were onboard. since this story began, our correspondent clive myrie has
been covering this, and we can join clive now here on bbc news in surabaya. >> good evening to you. it's 6:00 in the evening. the sun is beginning to set on what is a momentous day in the investigation on what happened to that airasia flight, taking off from here to singapore early on sunday. frankly, over the last couple of days, have had a faint flicker of hope that they may see their loved ones again. that the plane somehow crash landed somewhere. that they were injured, but that they were perhaps still alive. those hopes have been dashed. their worst fears have now been realized. the authorities say that they're now 95% certain that a number of pieces of debris found in the java sea belong to that aircraft. possibly a door with a distinctive red and white logo of the colors of airasia. an evacuation chute as well.
and significantly, of course, a number of bodies. so far, the authorities are suggesting that 40 bodies have been seen, have been sighted in the waters off indonesia. we are expecting a press conference in the next few minutes. behind me, you may be able to see some of the presidential guard there. we're expecting the president and the ceo of airasia tony fernandez to give an update on exactly the latest situation and to perhaps 100% confirm that that wreckage does belong to that airliner. let's get the very latest now on the day's developments. >> reporter: suspended from a helicopter, a rescuer prepares to recover a body spotted in the water. it's believed to be one of the passengers from the airasia flight. as well as several bodies, debris has been found, including what's thought to be one of the aircraft doors. and a search plane has spotted a
shadow on the seabed, suggesting the crashed jet has now been located. at a press conference this morning, the coordinator of the search said he was 95% sure the objects found in the water belong to the plane. another search team is to be deployed to the area. a team of divers is being put on standby. the latest developments have confirmed the worst fears of the relatives. and as they saw the pictures of the search, some were in tears. one woman collapsed in distress. the plane took off from surabaya at 5:30 on sunday morning with 162 people onboard. contact with air traffic control was last made at 6:24 a.m. the plane should have then continued on this route to singapore. with no distress signal or may day, investigators believe some kind of catastrophic event must have taken place.
the pilot, who was a distinguished military flier, before he joined commercial airlines, had requested permission to change course because of bad weather. airasia's boss tony fernandez has responded to the latest news by posting a message on twitter. my heart is filled with sadness, he says, on behalf of airasia, my condolences. after two days of searching, the focus will now turn to recovering what remains of the aircraft. and with that perhaps will come answers about how and why it crashed. >> reporter: we understand that some of the bodies have been recovered from the java sea. in recovering the bulk of the wreckage, it should be fairly straight forward. the java sea is an inland sea. surrounded by a lot of land, and as a result, it's not open to the turbulence you might have if
it was further out to sea. as a result, it's fairly shallow, so there is the session that the plane is on the bottom of the sea there and that the wreckage is floating above. it should be fairly straight forward to recover a lot of that, and we understand that a plane airasia flight is being organized for those relatives who want to fly out to the crash site. the big question now, of course, is why did that plane lose contact with air traffic control on sunday morning. we know that 42 minutes into that flight from surabaya airport, the pilot requested the ability to move at least a few thousand meters higher in altitude to avoid a heavy bank of clouds that were in the way. it's not clear if he was given clearance to rise in altitude. and the suggestion is that within five minutes of him asking for that request, making that request, radio contact disappeared. so that will be the line of investigation, clearly the weather in the area at the time, if it's fairly straight forward, that hopefully it should be straight forward to get the black box flight recorder, which could lead to some of the answers as to exactly why that plane fell out of the sky. as i say, we're still waiting for the press conference to take place here.
we were expecting it in the last hour or so, but there's clearly some kind of delay. a lot of media camped out here at surabaya airport. and when we get that, we'll bring it to you here on bbc news. and with that, it's back to you. >> clive, thank you very much indeed. you'll find much more on the search for the flight on our website, bbc.com/news. we're running a live page. i'm looking at it at the moment. tom phillips, the daily tell graph's correspondent, says the indonesian president meets families within an hour. singapore's defense minister has posted on facebook that she's
sending several vessels to the area where bodies and debris have been found. all of these updates on the live page, bbc.com/news. let's bring you some breaking news from west africa. there are unconfirmed reports coming from gambia of a possible attempted coup. heavy gunfire has been reported overnight in the capital. some reports say a coup has been foiled but this has not been confirmed. you'll see how much contradiction about what's happening. we do know the president is out of the country at the moment and that he came to power in a coup 20 years ago. he has been heavily criticized over the years for human rights abuses. let's bring you up to date
with the ferry disaster in the adriatic sea. authorities in albania say two sailors have been killed. they were trying to secure the ferry, which caught fire while sailing from greece to italy. the two sailors were hit by cable that they were trying to attach to the vessel. officials say they've now completed the evacuation of the boat, but there remains uncertainty about actually how many people were onboard. this is what we know. ten people lost their lives and the rescue operation was hampered by strong winds and high waves. we also know it's been confirmed that 437 people were rescued from the ferry, some by helicopter, the majority by ships. but, the passenger list for this sailing had 278 people onboard. clearly that leaves a substantial number of people who are unaccounted for and it all becomes more confusing because of news that some of those who survived the fire were not on the passenger list. let's get more from our correspondent james reynolds, who at the moment is reporting from the italian port of brindisi.
>> reporter: it's a headache, because the numbers just don't add up. they don't make sense. the passenger manifest, the official list of passengers who are onboard the ferry, compiled by the ferry company, has changed several times in recent days. the most accurate number we seem to have been given is 478. the trouble is this. that number, 478, does not match italy's final tally from the rescue, which stands at 437, including ten people who died. they're trying to work out why on earth there's a discrepancy of 41 names. there could be several reasons for this. it may simply be that the original manifest was wrong. it might be people booked the trip and didn't show up. it might be that people's names were written twice. it might also be that when the ship made a first stop on a greek island some people got
on some people got off and the numbers were not properly updated. but the reason why the italian authorities are taking this very, very seriously is they need those numbers to match, to make sure that there are no bodies missing on the ferry. >> james has been speaking to one of the people who survived this fire. the british show jumper nick channing williams. let me play you the conversation they had. >> 5:00 in the morning, there was a small alarm saying -- fire alarm. it was no big urgent thing. so we didn't really imagine it to be too much. came out, and there was quite a lot of smoke. >> what did you think was going on? >> it was very clear, it was far more than -- you know, because all the corridors, everything was filled with smoke. it got scary. >> were people panicking? >> yeah. and basically, the panic hit was when the floor of the deck where the lifeboats were caught fire. and the paint started bubbling, and people standing in the queue for the lifeboats and life jackets, their feet were getting so warm that they just started to panic.
that was when people piled in. >> did you fear for your life at any stage? >> at that moment, yes. >> there were lifeboats in the sea, people throwing themselves into them. it was quite a panicked situation, that first half an hour. >> did you guys have to take control yourself then? >> we just stood and watched. i mean, basically, the whole backside of the ship was on fire, so there were flames licking up around there. it wasn't a big ship, so there was no room. down there were the lifeboats were, and it was just one level where the captain sort of whatever that thing is. >> you were with your fiancee. were you rescued separately? >> we were, but we stayed together for the whole time for the first 24 hours. and then there was one point where i took a rope down on to the lower deck as the boat started to tip and became a bit of a panic. >> it was said they were coming and then they didn't because it was very bd weather.
and tell me when you got off the ship and exactly how you got off. >> i was down at the bottom with these other lads, and we ended up having to climb back up with the rope because we couldn't get away through the garages. it was still smoldering and everything. so we climbed up through a window in the canteen area and went through that way. with the help of the captain, actually, who's very nice. he helped us all the way through. i must say, he was good. >> you strike me as someone who's quite happy at the moment, yet you've been through a very traumatic experience. can you explain that? >> yeah, i can't wipe the grin off my face. >> are you normally like this? >> i'm normally quite over the top as a person, but to be away from her for 6 or 7 hours and at some point around 5:00 this morning, really considering whether i would see her again. you know, and when all of a sudden, i got in a helicopter and it was just -- it sunk in. and then both bumped into each other, both with tears in our eyes.
yeah. i've been smiling ever since. now we bring you information coming in from iraq. government security sources are saying that the army and its tribal allies have recaptured a town northeast of baghdad and are reported to have killed nearly 300 islamic state militants. now, as we knowing independent confirmation of the reports, but according to these government sources, a large group of militants were trapped in a northern neighborhood of the town of dhuluya before they managed to overrun the whole area. in a few minutes here on "bbc world news," we're going to be turning our attention to russia, because a leading anti-kremlin critic has been convicted for fraud. he says this is just about politics. hello, i'm ros atkins live (vo) nourished. rescued. protected.
here on "bbc world news." our lead story is the rescue teams looking for the missing airasia plane have pulled dozens of bodies from the water. it's now 8:30 in the evening in indonesia. let's go live to our correspondent in jakarta. what's the very latest you're hearing from the authorities there, please? >> well, what we've been told, ros, by the search and rescue spokesman, we've been told that three bodies have been spotted in the waters off the coast, and one body has been evacuated. now, remember earlier today, at a press conference in jakarta, the search and rescue chief, the agency's chief announced that he believed he was 95% sure that the items spotted in these waters belonged to the missing
plane. currently, as we understand, the search operation will continue at first thing in the morning. the air search has been called off for tonight as it has become nighttime here in indonesia. but boats are still scouring the area for anything that they can find. >> karishma, presumably, 24 hours ago we were talking about the search area being wide and presumably now it is being narrowed considerably. >> yes, indeed, ros. officials believe they have found the location of the debris field. there have been some reports of what appeared to be the shadow of a plane under the water. that's been unconfirmed from the people that we've been speaking to. but certainly from the comments made by the search and rescue
agency's chief earlier today here in jakarta, the items that have been found in the waters are from the missing plane. >> karishma, thank you very much indeed. apologies, the line occasionally dropped. live with us from jakarta. the uk is dealing with the first case of ebola to be diagnosed in the country. the victim, whose identity has so far not been revealed, is a volunteer nurse who had been caring for people in sierra leone. her trip began in freetown with a brief stop in casablanca, then a change of planes, and finally on to glasgow. she's been taken to a hospital in london. let's get more details. >> reporter: arriving in reason raf balance for specialist treatment. it's here in north london that the patient will receive care in a high-level isolation unit. earlier at glasgow airport, she had been transferred in a quarantine tent for the flight to raf northholt, everything
geared to containing the virus and minimizing the risk to anyone else. this sealed tent is where the health care worker will be treated. nurses and doctors reach through the side so there's no direct contact. staff have already successfully treated one case. now they hope to help another volunteer fight the virus. >> our procedures and protocols for all the other nhs workers working at the moment in sierra leone alongside colleagues from the department of national development and the foreign office, they are doing a very, very brave job under very challenging circumstances. >> reporter: the nhs has been preparing for this. a handful of cases in the uk were always likely. this morning, news that a second patient in scotland is also being tested for ebola after returning from west africa, and a third is being assessed in hospital in cornwall. hundreds of nhs staff have volunteered to help in sierra leone.
many working here at a hospital in kerrytown. the latest figures from the world health organization show more than 20,000 people have been infected with ebola and there have been at least 7,000 deaths. the real figure is likely to be higher. this latest case, a reminder that even with the best precautions, wherever people travel, viruses do, too. bring you up to date on a couple of other stories. officials in malaysia say nearly a quarter of a million people have been forced from their homes by flooding. more than 20 people have been killed by the flood waters in the northeast of the country. 15 more deaths in neighboring thailand. officials in western australia are searching for a shark which fatally attacked a teenager on monday. 17-year-old jay muskat was spear fishing with a friend when he was attacked. it's thought the shark was a great white and may have been hit by one of the spears during the attack. to russia next, because the opposition leader has been found guilty of fraud. he's been given a suspended prison sentence of three and a
half years. his brother was also tried and also sentenced for the same period, but he will serve his time behind bars. navalny has been a fierce critic of president putin. he has throughout maintained his innocence and says the charges are politically motivated. he's urging his supporters to take to the streets in protest. steve rosenberg was outside the course as alexei navalny was leaving. >> reporter: what happened this morning at this moscow courthouse was quite unexpected. on trial here was alexei navalny, russia's most prominent opposition activist, the man the kremlin fears most, and his brother, both men accused of fraud and money laundering, a case widely believed to be
politically motivated. and because the verdict had been brought forward by two weeks, most people were expecting guilty verdicts and prison sentences. as you see, a large crowd of journalists outside waiting to speak to the prosecutor, who is about to come out. but when the verdict was given, the judge found both men guilty, but it was his brother who was sent to jail. alexei navalny was given a suspended sentence. that confirms his belief that his family members are being held hostage because of his political activity. when leaving the courthouse a few weeks ago, he called on his supporters to come out on to the streets of moscow, this evening, to register their opposition to this verdict. >> thanks to steve for that update. now let's bring you some big news from the cricketing world. one of india's most successful test cricket captains has retired.
not from the whole game, don't worry. just from test cricket. he played 90 test matches in his career and captain for an astonishing 60 them. aside from being an amazing batsman, he's more than that, isn't he? >> he's a mass figure here. but i suppose the biggest thing is when he won the 2020 tournament back in 2007. he led them to that elusive world cup in the one-day format in 2007. he led them to the elusive cup in 2011 so this is big news that ms dhoni has chosen to retire from the test game. but one suspects that where his real talents lie are in the limited format. with that world cup coming up ever so shortly in australia and new zealand, that is where he is going to be needed most by this indian team. of course, their first match is against fierce rivals pakistan,
the 15th of february. that's in adalaide. but ms dhoni, he'll be missed from the test arena, but the player who's going to take over is well acquitted to the task. >> what's the real story here? he's resigned in the middle of a series? >> i think he was always going to go at some point. always talk he was going to go in england earlier this year. he's 33 years old, plenty of cricket left. the big money is in the 2020 tournaments and the one-day game. the indian premier league is beginning to keep himself going for a few years yet. he scored a few centuries already in the series, so there's someone well equipped to take over. >> more on that story at bbc.com/sport. let me remind you of our top story. bodies have been recovered from the sea off the coast of indonesia after debris was found, which believed to be from the airasia plane that went missing on sunday. if you want more information on that, do go to our website, bbc.com/news.
on the top story, you'll see the live page. click on that and you'll get all the latest information in realtime. i'll speak to you in half an hour. thank you very much. ♪ keep your spirits high... the calories low... and the bill? even lower. new cedar grilled lemon chicken with quinoa, just $9.99. the pub diet only at applebee's.
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hello, i'm ros atkins here on "bbc world news." our lead story is that indonesian officials have confirmed that debris spotted by search teams is from the missing airasia plane. at least 40 bodies have been pulled from the sea. 162 people were onboard when the plane vanished. in other news two albanian seamen have died while trying to secure the ferry that caught fire in the adriatic sea. the first person diagnosed with ebola while in the uk is taken to a london hospital for specialist treatment. a big story